RAPID CITY, S.D. – For the 44th year in a row West River brides-to-be converged on Rapid City for the Bridal Showcase. But what a change between the 43rd and 44th!
“I’ve had a lot of experience in planning in a lot of different weather conditions but of course this is the first year that I‘ve done planning during a pandemic” said Sally Samuelsen Wharton, the Bridal Showcase Coordinator who has been part of the expo for 4 decades.
Armed with best practices for social distancing and hand sanitizing stations, the 2021 Bridal Showcase at Best Western Ramkota Hotel pinned number 44 in their books but not without a set of interruptions. The showcase was divided into two sessions to keep attendees safe and tickets were sold almost exclusively online rather than at the door. With mass cancellations and postponements of 2020 weddings, some vendors say they have noticed more couples wanting to get married expediently.
“A lot of brides or couples are actually planning for 2021 which is a little bit unheard of in the wedding industry to plan a wedding within you know the next six months or so” said Liv Hospitality Director of Sales Allison Thompson.
Overall, vendors agree 2021 seems to have brought on a new dose of optimism for wedding bookings. Main Street Menswear salesman Luke Kitzmiller says he has seen a uptick in new faces.
“A lot of people are going through and deciding that this is the time of year that they want to get married, now that they got the 2020 is behind us they’re able to start that new chapter into their lives there and what a great way to start it then getting married.”
Thinking about getting hitched this year on that special day? Well, it could be difficult but it is not impossible.
“It’s going to be a little more challenging to find your first choice date because the 2020 weddings that got pushed to 2021, we have vendors who are already booked” said Wharton.
Wedding experts say an advantage getting married in the Black Hills is the wide array of open spaces, so don’t let your love wait any longer!